- Building your "BRAND" and "WORD of MOUTH" reputation
Marketing is NOT SALES but should generate the perception of your value and reputation in the minds of both your current and prospective patients. Start with this:
- Target Patient Audience: Who are they and what are the types of procedures? What does that demographic expect (e.g. what preferred communication method, what dental procedures, desired experience, etc.)?
- Your Brand Image: Ask yourself this: What images come to peoples minds when they think of your brand? Start there.
- Caveat; Your marketing budget will be wasted if your patients' experiences aren't consistent with the brand you build. Bad reputations travel faster than good ones.
- Generate Sales Leads
"Hold and Grow" Strategy is best. It's easier and less expensive to keep an existing patient than to attract new patients. It's fundamental; remember you have competition. The goal should be:
- Patient Retention & increased per patient revenue value annually
- New Patient acquisition consistent with your targeted demographic profile.
Use a hybrid approach mixing "Old School" Direct Mail and various social media tactics to attract the targeted demographic. Here are a couple of helpful hints:
- "Direct Mail" Marketing with coupons and other discount incentives. Track your ROI (new revenue value compared to campaign cost). According to a recent study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail return on investment (ROI) is improving. In 2012, an investment of $1 in dental marketing ad expenditures is predicted to return, on average, nearly $12.18 in incremental revenue.
You tell me, do you think it's worth it?
- Social Media - Focus on Facebook engagement tactics and contests (via offers, promoted posts, etc.) to get them to "engage" (like, comment, share) with their friends, thereby multiplying your efforts through others. DO THIS CONSISTENTLY and SCHEDULE it. It won't get done otherwise.
- Follow up (May be most important)
Why do so many Dental Practices and businesses fail to do this?
Good Marketing Plans perform like the "gift that keeps on giving". Patient revenue continues to be generated pass the end of the dental marketing campaign. However, it won't without follow up. Many methods (e.g. direct mail, phone calls, social media, mobility, etc.) exist to accomplish this imperative.
Fundamentally all of these options require commitment. Your staff may see it as a job, but your patients see it as a relationship. Please remember even your existing patients have choices of dental providers.
In conclusion, successful campaign requires these essential elements to produce planned outcome. They are:
- Building your dental practice "BRAND" and "WORD of MOUTH" reputation
- Generate Sales Leads, Dental Practice's revenue life blood
- Follow up to keep your dental marketing investment the "gift that keeps on giving".